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Major Races - Royal Ascot 2004

Royal Ascot 2004

2004 Results

Royal Ascot
at York 2005

2004 running order

Royal Ascot is the premier Flat racing meeting of the season with prestigious races aplenty and more than £3.3m in prize money on offer. The major races are the six Group One events:

The St James’s Palace Stakes - Tuesday 15th June
Named after the Tudor Royal residence, the inaugural running of the St James’s Palace Stakes in 1834 was a walkover for the Derby winner Plenipotentiary. This race features the best milers from the Classic generation, often attracting horses that have run in the English, French and Irish 2,000 Guineas, with a succession of famous winners from Brigadier Gerard to Giant’s Causeway. Last year’s victor, the dual 2,000 Guineas hero Rock of Gibraltar, was rated the world’s best racehorse in 2002 in the International Classifications.

Azamour the Palace jewel
Azamour made up for two Classic defeats with victory in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The John Oxx-trained colt (9-2) was third in the 2000 Guineas and second in the Irish equivalent.

But the vibes were good for the Aga Khan-owned colt beforehand and supporters were proved right as he came fast and late under Michael Kinane inside the final furlong.

Diamond Green tried hard to stay with him but had to give best at the line by a neck.

Antonius Pius was three-quarters of a length away in third, but the Newmarket Guineas winner Haafhd was only fourth after holding every chance.

The Queen Anne Stakes - Tuesday 15th June
Founded in 1840, the Queen Anne Stakes commemorates the monarch who established racing at Ascot in 1711. Run as the Trial Stakes until 1929, the Queen Anne Stakes was first awarded Group Three status in 1971, becoming Group Two in 1984. The Queen Anne Stakes achieved the highest three-year average rating of any Group Two race in Britain from 1999 to 2002 according to the International Classifications. Elevated to Group One status for the first timein 2003, the race attracts the season’s leading older milers from across Europe.

Bend blazes to Queen Anne victory
Last year's 2000 Guineas winner Refuse To Bend returned to his best form with a dramatic victory in the Queen Anne Stakes.

Frankie Dettori brought the former Irish-trained colt to challenge Soviet Song in the final furlong and take the Group One prize for the second year running in the Godolphin colours.

Lateen Sails made the early running with Nebraska Tornado, and when the Godolphin second string weakened two furlongs out, Soviet Song went on.

Favourite Six Perfections flattered briefly, but it was Refuse To Bend (12-1) who put in a determined bid to land the spoils by a neck.

Salselon came from way back to take third, three-quarters of a length away.

A delighted Dettori said: "He's won a Guineas and has been a good horse.

"I think the horse has worked brilliantly and we had all been puzzled why he had been running too badly.

"Today he travelled really well. When I pulled him out it took him a bit of time to get going, but once he got into top gear he was always going to win.

"The horse has got a bit of class and it's taken time to come. "

Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford added: "I think we've won it six times now - it's been a really lucky race for us. We've had some top-class older milers and he stacks up with the best of them. "

The Prince of Wales’s Stakes - Wednesday 16th June
The Prince of Wales’s Stakes was first run at Royal Ascot in 1862, named after the son of Queen Victoria (later to become King Edward VII). Originally staged over 1m 5f, the race often attracted horses that had participated in the Classics. There was no Prince of Wales’s Stakes from 1946 until 1968, a year before the current Prince of Wales’s investiture in 1969, when the distance changed to one mile and two furlongs. Many top class middle-distance horses have won the race, from Brigadier Gerard to Dubai Millennium.

In 2000 the Prince of Wales’s Stakes was upgraded to Group One status for the first time and restricted to four year olds and upwards. As part of a new initiative in 2003, the race formed one of the first legs of the BHB Summer Triple Crown and Grand Slam.

Rakti goes one better
Rakti, runner-up in the Prince of Wales's Stakes 12 months ago, went one better in the Group One contest at Royal Ascot on Wednesday.

The five-year-old, trained by Michael Jarvis and ridden by Philip Robinson, led two furlongs out and quickly went clear to beat Powerscourt and Ikhtyar.

Robinson had difficulty settling Rakti in the early stages as Godolphin's second string Lunar Sovereign made the pace for Sulamani. However, the 3-1 shot was going much better five furlongs out and Robinson had him well-placed just behind the lead before striking for home and winning by two lengths from Powerscourt (9-2).

Ikhtyar (8-1) was another half-length back in third.

Jarvis was delighted to see the horse make a winning start to the season. He told BBC Sport: "As he's got older, he's got stronger and he's got the most wonderful turn of foot on this fast ground.

" I'm lucky to have had some good horses in my career, but he would be the best 10-furlong horse I've had and I think he could win a good mile race.

" I think that Hong Kong is definitely on the agenda, but there's some big ones before then."

Winning jockey, Robinson said: "He's a very, very strong horse and I said to Michael that once you got one grip you wouldn't want to go for another or you would be gone.

" They went fast enough there for his first run and he will definitely improve for it.

" All credit to Mr Jarvis. I was very, very worried about him, but he said he thought the horse was just changing as he got older and was not showing as much at home."

The Gold Cup - Thursday 17th June
Founded in 1807, the Gold Cup is the oldest and one of the most prestigious races at Royal Ascot. Staged over the marathon trip of two and a half miles, the race is a stiff test of stamina and attracts the very best staying horses. Many horses have distinguished themselves with multiple Gold Cup wins, enhancing the race’s reputation as a specialist’s event. Anticipation first achieved the feat in 1819 and Royal Rebel became the latest duel winner when landing back-to-back Gold Cups last year. The great stayer Sagaro is the only horse to have won the race three times, from 1975 to 1977.

Gold Cup glory for Papineau
Papineau came from off the pace to land the Gold Cup for the Godolphin team at Royal Ascot.

Frankie Dettori settled the 5-1 second-favourite back in the field but steadily made headway to go past Westerner entering the final furlong.

The French raider had no answer to Papineau's finishing kick and had to settle for second, with Darasim staying on to take third in the premier stayers' contest.

Papineau missed the break slightly, along with Brian Boru, as Japanese raider Ingrandire took the initiative in the early stages of the two-and-a-half mile contest.

Mr Dinos, sent off the 5-4 favourite, was always up with the pace and Kieren Fallon took up the running entering the home straight and set sail for home.

But they were queuing up to take him on and he was soon passed by Westerner (13-2).

Dettori weaved his way through to take over in the final furlong, pulling clear to score by a length and a half, with Darasim (28-1) a further two and a half lengths away.

It was a fourth victory in the race for Godolphin following Classic Cliche and Kayf Tara (twice).

The Coronation Stakes - Friday 18th June
First run in 1840, the Coronation Stakes was founded to commemorate the crowning of Queen Victoria in 1838. This mile event is the fillies’ equivalent of the St James’s Palace Stakes and attracts horses that have run well in the English, Irish and French 1,000 Guineas. The last Newmarket Classic heroine to go on to victory in this race was One in a Million in 1979. In comparison, winners of the Irish 1,000 Guineas have a much better recent record, with eight fillies landing the Curragh Classic before winning the Coronation Stakes.

attractionAttraction crowned Coronation queen
Attraction cemented her status as the best three-year-old filly in Europe over a mile with victory in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The first to complete the English and Irish 1000 Guineas double, Attraction won her third Group One race of the season in brilliant style.

Now unbeaten in all her eight races, the Duke Of Roxburghe's filly, trained by Mark Johnston, made virtually all the running in the hands of Kevin Darley. Majestic Desert was second and Red Bloom third.

Darley had Attraction quickly away from stall 10 and she was ahead in a matter of strides from Royal Tigress and Red Bloom.

She had most of the field struggling at halfway and held a two-length lead on the turn for home. None of her 10 rivals was capable of getting in a blow and Attraction, the 6-4 favourite, went on to win by two and a half lengths from Majestic Desert (25-1), who pipped Red Bloom (10-3) for second by a head.

"She's something else - that is the difference. You just throw the reins at her and she takes the race by the scruff of the neck herself," Darley told BBC Sport.

"Everybody who was worried about her going round a bend for the first time need not have - she is that much of a professional. "She got a bit keen running up the hill today, but once she saw the road she pricked her ears and got herself right for the turn.

Once she straightened up it was all over. "People keep saying she's a freak. She keeps breaking all records, and she's so easy to ride that she makes my job that much easier."

The Golden Jubilee Stakes - Saturday 19th June
Formerly known as the Cork and Orrery Stakes, Royal Ascot’s most prestigious sprint was given a new name and elevated to Group One status to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002. First run in 1868, this six-furlong contest was originally named after Lord Cork, another Master of the Buckhounds. The most successful trainer in the history of this race is the legendary Vincent O’Brien, who was victorious on five occasions between 1970 and 1993.

Jag strikes gold
Fayr Jag just held on in the shadow of the post to land the Golden Jubilee Stakes.

Tim Easterby's charge, who dead-heated in the Wokingham on this day last year, burst through inside the final furlong under Willie Supple.

John Hammond trained Ratio to share the spoils with Fayr Jag last year and history nearly repeated itself as his Crystal Castle lunged late.

But the northern raider clung on to prevail by a head.

Hong Kong raider Cape Of Good Hope was the same distance away in third.

The winner was sent off a 12-1 chance, with the Roger Charlton-trained Avonbridge the favourite at 100-30. He could manage only fifth after blazing a trail up the stands rail early on.

Airwave was held up in the early stages but never threatened to produce the turn of foot that carried her into second in this race last year.

Monsieur Bond's chance went when he was squeezed for room a couple of furlongs out, although he was under pressure at the time.

Supple told BBC Sport: "Group Ones don't come often enough and I was very lucky to ride this horse. He has been very good to me.

" He has had his problems over the years - he broke a bone in his head in the stalls, and I fell off him at Newmarket last year. He travelled well all the way and got a good lead, but probably got there too soon and just held on in the end."

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